3 things to know about third-party delivery + employee turnover

Nick de Souza | Jul 1, 2019 Nick de Souza 07/01/19

We’ve recently posted about the impact third-party delivery is having on brand reputation and business outcomes. Another layer to this disruption is its effect on restaurant industry employees. With the unemployment rate at its lowest since 1969, finding and keeping an hourly workforce is already more difficult. On top of that challenge is the continued rise of third-party delivery. With companies like Door Dash and UberEats, restaurant brands are now competing with the “gig economy”—an employment option that offers much more flexibility.

Think about it. You’re a delivery driver for a pizza chain. Your schedule is set by your manager—a person who may or may not respect your scheduling requests. Not only that, sometimes you have to step in and take a dishwashing shift if the restaurant is short-staffed. But if you were an UberEats driver, you’d set your own schedule—you’d be in control of when and how often you work. You’d also be your own boss and wouldn’t get roped into covering shifts you didn’t want. It’d be a pretty sweet deal.

In order to compete, brands must re-evaluate their staffing and scheduling processes and provide an attractive option that will appeal to the masses. Here are some things to consider:


1. Meet your employees’ scheduling needs

We know a thing or two about measuring employee engagement. And our data shows brands that meet their employees’ needs with schedule notifications see a 20 ppt difference in employee engagement compared to the bottom-performing group. There is also a 17 ppt difference in intent to remain at the company. Also, top-performing brands that meet their employees’ satisfaction for hours received see a 13 ppt difference in engagement and an 11 ppt difference in intent to remain compared to the bottom-performing brands.


Is your scheduling and notification technology up-to-date to meet the demands of an hourly workforce with a gig economy at their fingertips? Your employees expect the ability to:

  • Easily change or pick up shifts
  • Know their schedules far in advance
  • Alter the number of hours they work

Remember: it’s employees who have the most leverage in the current labor market. Providing a reliable and flexible system for scheduling notification is important, as well as considering their desired amount of working hours. And if you’re not meeting these expectations, the result is simple: they will move on to a company that does.



2. Evaluate a third-party delivery partnership
You know how the saying goes—if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Partnering with a third-party delivery vendor isn’t the best option for every brand, but it is worth doing your research. You need to understand how the respective market share matches up. Take into account who’s winning and which vendor partner is right for you before diving in. Going this route could be a better alternative than staffing your own delivery drivers—but test the waters first.


3. Ensure every member of your staff knows their role

Having clearly defined roles for every job position seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, it isn’t. Now that third-party delivery orders are coming in at a much more frequent rate, it may be time to redefine your job descriptions. Do you have a designated employee to handle third-party orders? Are your employees willing to take on additional roles they weren’t originally hired to do?

If your answer is no to any of these, you’ve got some work to do. The restaurant industry landscape is changing and third-party delivery is only gaining more ground. Traditional back- and front-of-the-house roles need to evolve with this shift in order to keep up with customer expectations—and keep your employees happy.


You can’t afford to ignore third-party delivery

Few things are impacting the restaurant industry quite like third-party delivery—and it only continues to gain traction. If you want to maintain your competitive edge + drive employee loyalty, you must have an air-tight strategy in place. In the current economy, employees have more control than ever and expectations are high. To compete with the gig mentality and combat high turnover rates, ensure you are delivering on their needs.

For more on creating a culture of engagement in your organization, download the white paper Five essential elements of a successful employee engagement program.


Nick de Souza | Employee Experience Practice Manager

Tara Augustin, M.S. | Employee Experience Practice Manager